This morning, October 30, 2022, I’m thinking of my Pittsburgh Steelers team. They head into Lincoln Financial stadium to play the Philadelphia Eagles with a 1:00 p.m. E.S.T. kick-off later today. I heard someone on a sports program yesterday mention the Eagles are a 10 1/2-point favorite to win over my Steelers. Pittsburgh is going into the game with a 2-5 record against Philadelphia, who are undefeated at 6-0 as of today.
Being the die-hard fan that I am, I can’t help but think of the phrase, “On any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team.” It’s way past ironic that the phrase is credited to Bert Bell, who coached the Eagles for five seasons and the Steelers for one season in 1941. Mr. Bell became the commissioner of the N.F.L. in 1946.
So with that phrase, I’ll cheer on my Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s a lot of truth to the aforementioned phrase since football fans have seen it happen. The bottom line usually comes down to who wants to win bad enough. A loss today by the Eagles wouldn’t hurt their record much at this point in time. The Steelers want and need to win this game as any team going into the home stadium of an undefeated opponent.
I’ll make this short and sweet, I’ve seen the Steelers be great before, and I’m looking forward to a great game of football. So, in the words of Bert Bell, “On any given Sunday….”
I don’t take the Cleveland Browns win lightly over my Pittsburgh Steelers on the night of January 10, 2021. In fact, I feel like I’m in a stupor of sorts on this Monday morning after the debacle. There’s enough blame to go around for the Steelers’ loss of the NFL Wildcard playoff game on Sunday night. Some say it was because of the coaching, others say the QB was at fault, while others blame the players. Whatever happened, it was the worst “showing up” I’ve seen from my favorite football team.
I can’t give a detailed analysis of the game because I honestly didn’t watch all of the game. While I’m not a superstitious person – I have my rituals like most Steelers’ fans. Routines make some of us fans feel we’re somehow willing our team to win. One of my habits during a game when the Steelers are behind is either turning the channel or walking out of the room for a while. After a record first-quarter lead by the Cleveland Browns of twenty-eight unanswered points over my Steelers, you only have to guess what I did. I waited until late in the second quarter of the game to turn the channel. I’d had enough torture for a while.
I believe myself and most Steelers’ fan were in shock during the game because of the stellar season our team had up until week thirteen. With an 11-0 record by week twelve, we Steelers fans were on top of the world along with our team. I don’t mind that we lost in week thirteen of the regular season. A loss was bound to happen with a perfect record. I’ve seen the Steelers lose many times before in playoff season. But it’s the loss after such a great season, not counting the three consecutive defeats in weeks 13-15, that makes the loss hurt so much. To advance to a wildcard playoff game against a previously inferior division rival and lose to the extent we did is embarrassing. Sure, we made a comeback in the second half (I heard about it but didn’t see), but it was too little too late. The final score was 48-37. Cleveland advances in the playoffs, and we’re left with a 12-4 record to end our season. Cleveland outplayed us at every turn and should be congratulated for winning the game.
Now, who to blame? I’m only qualified to answer as a fan. I’d think jobs may be lost as a result of the way we ended our season. We lost four of the last five games in the regular season. Hopefully, if not in the coming days, there’ll be changes before the 2021-22 season starts. As a fan, I blame complacency by the organization, coaches, and players in preparing for the game. We had a total meltdown by the defense, offense, and coaching staff. Why weren’t we better prepared for this Browns team? Why weren’t adjustments made when it was apparent the Browns’ coaches caught on to our game plan? By the way, the Browns’ head coach wasn’t even present for the game. The report during the game was that Cleveland’s head coach was quarantined at home because of Covid-19. For the love of all things holy, why were the Browns (or you can insert any other team’s name here) “allowed” to get 28 unanswered points in the first quarter? This is not any Steelers team I’ve ever witnessed. Something went terribly wrong. I don’t think an answer as to what went wrong will satisfy any Steelers fan at this moment.
With all that said, I still love my Pittsburgh Steelers’ team. I’ll continue to watch the games next season and root for my team to win. I’m hoping we’ll have a preseason in August 2021 since Covid-19 and the pandemic it brought stopped the 2020 NFL preseason.
It’s a solemn Monday for us die-hard Steelers’ fans. As they say, we’ll get ‘em next time!
It’s not lost on me that I’m not alone. The holidays are difficult to keep most time-sensitive commitments. I must research and find out who decided to make National Novel Writing Month in November. Was it because of the “N’s”, I wonder? In any case, I’m behind on my word count goal. However, I’m not so behind that I can’t make it to my goal if I hustle. Also, there’s a push by writing coaches, editors and other industry folks to get their products this month. It’s probably the best time of the year to market. I’d do it if I were them. Well played coaches, editors, and agents.
At the beginning of the month, I blogged about all the projects I was working on and hadn’t a prayer of finishing. I was wrong. I’m on track with the poetry challenge, and the flash fiction stories. The memoir is finished and published on Amazon and Kindle. The short story was submitted to an online contest. Sadly, the full-length novel suffered.
All is not lost. I have approximately twenty-six hours and eighteen minutes left to finish (give or take a few minutes depending on when I finish typing this entry). I won’t get any prize for finishing. I’ll know I can do this, and that’s worth more than any certificate I could earn.
By the way, my Steelers lost yesterday to the Broncos 17-24. Ben, why did you play action fake to the wrong guy? I know you owned up to it – good job. But wow.
I realized a few weeks ago that I’ve neglected my favorite pastime this month: Football. It’s not just football, in general, it’s Steeler Football. It’s hard to grow up in Pittsburgh without being a fan of at least one sports team. Most people I know are fans of the at least one of our professional teams. A great majority of those folks are fans of the big three: Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. There’s no gender politics where Steeler football is concerned in my town. Plenty female Steelers fans have bled black and gold since they were able to speak. Literally, the baby clothes section at the Pro shops in town gets frequented plenty. It’s hard to go on social media during a season to not see someone’s post of a baby or small child in miniature sports gear. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’ve loved everything Steeler since Mean Joe Green came to my school so many years ago. At the young age of 11, Joe Green was the largest man I’d ever seen in person next to Muhammad Ali a year or two before. I’m no fair-weather fan and I have been known to perform my ritual each Steeler game.
Now to the neglect: This is National November Writing Month. I took on multiple writing projects (by choice) and spend most waking hours writing poems, short fiction or devoting time to my novel. Semi-retirement is great as I make writing a new career – slowly but surely. I’m behind on current events in the local and national news. I hadn’t realized the Steelers were on a winning streak at the present time (I hope I’m not jinxing them). I did, however, get to see the last few plays of the game today with Jacksonville. The Steelers defeated Jacksonville 20-16. So, we’re having a good season and I’m missing most of the games. It’s fine if they keep up the good work!
Besides, I’ll have multiple poems and stories written to put into a compilation and a jump on that novel. 😊